As a scientist and creator of www.hairwonderfulday.com I always get questions about hair care and how to maintain healthy hair growth and avoid split ends. The truth is a lot of us forget to think about hair wash, the simple process that many of us do on a daily basis.
I believe that good hair care and looking after your scalp is the key to maintain healthy hair growth, however not a lot people know that how we wash our hair can have a huge impact on our overall hair look.
It is not enough to have gold shampoo, rich hair conditioners and Morrocanoil oils, simple things can be the key to achieve your dream look and all of that comes to the hair wash.
Here are some tips that you could apply day-to-day and trust me they do work:
- When you are washing your hair be GENTLE, don’t rub your hair fibers into each other, because that will cause extra friction and formation of split ends.
- When you applying shampoo and conditioner distribute it gently through your hair and massage your scalp, it is essential to use the right shampoo to maintain healthy scalp condition, which is equals to healthy hair growth
- When you drying your hair with the towel make sure you are lightly pressing to get that water out, not rubbing your hair against towel because that again can cause extra friction.
- Best way to dry your hair is with low heat because water in our hair causes cuticle swelling, which again can lead to the breakage. A lot of us believe that natural hair drying is the best, but actually low temperature heat can do more good (of course don’t forget to use heat protection!)
I always believed that simplicity is the key to everything so if you have already perfect hair care regime, adding these tips into your daily hair wash will only help you to maintain healthy hair growth and of course achieve shiny and beautiful look.
Vinegar, from the French vin aigre, meaning “sour wine,” can be made from almost any fermentable carbohydrate source, including wine, molasses, dates, sorghum, apples, pears, grapes, berries, melons, coconut, honey, beer, maple syrup, potatoes, beets, malt, grains, and whey. Initially, yeasts ferment the natural food sugars to alcohol. Next, acetic acid bacteria (Acetobacter) convert the alcohol to acetic acid (1).
In the United States, vinegar products must contain a minimum of 4% acidity (2). White distilled vinegars are generally 4% to 7% acetic acid, whereas cider and wine vinegars are 5% to 6% acetic acid.
So, if the goal is to use something acidic on your hair, you can use any type of vinegar, because all contain acidic acid; you don’t need to use expensive products or certain type of vinegar.
I searched the scientific publications on the benefits (or lack of) of vinegar/acetic acid on hair, and I came up with no result. No trials or in-vitro experiments have been done on this subject (at least not published).
However, many people swear by the hair benefits they got with a vinegar rinse (in particular apple cider vinegar).
Here are some of the benefits and explanations of using a vinegar rinse on your hair. We all have different hair textures, porosity, and hair/scalp dryness levels, use different products and live in different areas, so we all have different hair concerns and #hairgoals 🙂
- After you dye/bleach your hair, an acidic solution can stop the oxidative process and flatten the cuticles. A permanent dye has a pH of 7-8 and bleach a pH of 8-9, so an acidic solution will bring it down to a lower pH.
Note: The pH of the scalp is 5.5 and the hair shaft pH is 3.7 (3).
This flattening may not only help hair color last longer, but also makes your hair easier to comb and a bit shinier.
- Because of low pH, a vinegar rinse can improve the efficiency of the conditioner (4) with polyquats that are positively charged and will adsorb to the hair strand to create lubricity and reduce friction, so it will enhance smoothness and manageability.
- If you live in an area with hard water (see below a map of US water hardness), vinegar may help with removing the build up in the hair caused by the minerals in water. Calcium and magnesium in the hard water react with soaps and detergents to form an insoluble, sticky residue that can be removed with a more acidic solution.
If you want to give it a try (and if you think you really need it), I would recommend using it after shampooing, followed by conditioning. I would not replace a conditioner with just a vinegar rinse (at least for the simple reason that I don’t want to smell like a salad dressing for the rest of the day).
We all have different hair textures, porosity, and hair/scalp dryness levels, so what works on a person’s hair, it might not work on yours.
And remember, these are only folk remedies, not scientifically proven treatments!
PS. Please don’t hesitate to ask me anything, you send any questions through the blog or contact form.
- Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect, Carol S. Johnston, Cindy A. Gaas
MedGenMed. 2006; 8(2): 61.
- U S. Food and Drug Administration. Code of Federal Regulations. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/ora/compliance_ref/cpg/cpgfod/cpg525-825.html.
- The Shampoo pH can Affect the Hair: Myth or Reality?, Maria Fernanda Reis Gavazzoni Dias, Andréia Munck de Almeida, Patricia Makino Rezende Cecato, Andre Ricardo Adriano, Janine Pichler, Int J Trichology. 2014 Jul-Sep; 6(3): 95–99.
- http://thebeautybrains.com (love these guys).
Although it is formed of dead cells when it is outside of your scalp, hair strands can still be “healthy” or damaged. Also, damage can occur from environmental pollutants, harsh chemical and physical treatments, and using products incorrectly. In my opinion, whatever your hair is, curly, straight, thin or thick, beautiful hair starts with healthy, shiny hair.
Honey is a product that many people have in their kitchen and can be used in combination with other ingredients to prepare hair masks for healthier hair. Some really great properties honey has are, antibacterial, acts as a humectant (attracts moisture) and is incredible healing. Honey contains a complex of naturally flavored sugars as well as trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids.
Here are 5 honey treatments that will make your hair healthier:
1. Treatment against hair lost
Mix 4 tablespoons of honey with 2 tablespoon of castor oil in a bowl. Apply the mixture on the hair from the scalp to the hair ends. Leave it on the hair for 30 min and after that rinse with warm water and wash the hair with a light shampoo.
Honey will treat the scalp and the castor oil will strengthen the hair strands and help with hair regeneration.
2.Treatment for dry and damaged hair
Mix 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil with ½ avocado and 1 tablespoon of honey in a bowl. You can use a blender to crush the avocado before mix it with the oil and honey, for a better mixing. Apply the mixture on the hair and massage it very well until is uniformly distributed through all the hair strands. Leave it on the hair for 30 min and then rinse with warm water and wash the hair with a light shampoo.
Both the olive oil and the avocado have powerful hydrating properties.
If you have very long hair or very thick hair, you might need to double the amount.
3. Treatment for oily hair
Mix 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of honey into a bowl until becomes a homogeneous paste. Apply the mixture on the hair and massage it very well until is uniformly distributed through all the hair strands. Leave it on the hair for 20-30 min, then rinse with warm water and wash the hair with a light shampoo.
Apart from increasing the strength of the hair, egg yolks also help with silkiness and softness of the hair. Lemon juice blocks the excess sebum secretion of the scalp.
If you have very long hair or very thick hair, you might need to double the amount.
4. Treatment for hydrating and moisture
Dry, and damaged hair can easily become brittle, which results in it looking dull and the weak ends splits easily.
This mask will help by hydrating your hair and helping it to look shinier.
Mix 1 tablespoon of honey, 2 egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl, until become a homogeneous paste. Apply the paste on wet hair and leave on for 20 minutes, after which you rinse with warm water and wash with a light shampoo.
If you have very long hair or very thick hair, again, double the mixing amount.
5. Treatment for brittle hair
Mix 2 cups of warm whole milk with 2 tablespoon of honey and 1 smashed banana. Apply the mixture on the scalp and hair and massage it very well throughout all hair strands. Leave it for 15-20 minutes and rinse it afterwards.